An employment agreement is a contract that defines the terms of employment to a new employee. The employment contract can be of fixed term or indefinite term. It needs to strictly follow all Canadian employment legislation as well as provincial employment standards.
Generally, an employment contract will include details like salary, roles and responsibilities, other benefits, bonuses, vacation, confidentiality clauses, non-solicitation and non-competition clauses. Most employers have a set format for hiring new employees, but it is very important to have all employment contracts reviewed by a lawyer before issuing them to potential employees.
Here are 4 reasons why all employment agreements should be reviewed by a lawyer:
- Not all jobs are the same. Depending on the role’s function, level of seniority and responsibilities, contracts can and should be different.
- Different jobs have different levels of access to information. As an employer, you might want to be careful about the confidentiality, non-solicitation and non-competition clauses to avoid the risk that sensitive information make its way outside of your organization.
- Termination clauses must be considered carefully. Leadership will want to avoid potential damages from former employees while also maintaining the flexibility to adjust to ups and downs in the market.
- Employee benefits must be competitive and clearly articulated. These details will be highly dependent on the role, but bonus structures and stock options are just a couple examples of benefits that must be clearly and strategically documented in employment contracts in order to attract and retain top talent.
The legal language is everything. Minor changes can have major implications on employment contracts and the risks companies (and employees) are willing to accept by signing the agreements. While templated employment contracts are more accessible today than ever before, it is important to understand (at a minimum) if what you’re using has been written by an expert employment lawyer and if it requires updates for your specific jurisdiction.
CEO Law is a technology-enabled law firm that is challenging traditional law’s status quo. As part of our document generation solution, you can create customized legal documents (including an employment agreement) for a fraction of the price that it would typically cost a lawyer to draft them. A list of available documents can be found here.